Michelle Lewis

You are with your mother in a dressing room in Sears. It is dark out and the store
is emptying. You are on the floor, fingering the carpet fibers while she is trying
and failing to find something that works. This is how you know it is hard to
find anything that works, and sometimes you have to take what almost does.
When you leave, two boys are by the door and one flicks a lighter in her face and
says I’ll give you a buck for a fuck. She looks straight ahead and keeps us walking.


Many years later you are working at the Lower Income Housing Tax Credit office
when a coworker asks why you always wear those clothes in that weird fabric
and you know he means all those slacks and acrylic blouses you bought at The
Limited. You never buy anything there again. Each day after work you unclasp
the pants, still loving how they slide down your nyloned legs, how the fabric
pools around your feet.


You are in eighth grade when Bonnie down the street invites you to a Mary Kay party.
She wears a blouse that drifts over her breasts, and when she leans across the table
you notice they are loose and slung low. You wonder why they are not formed into
two stationary ice cream scoops. She says this is the best thing to use to accentuate
the eyes and opens a large tablet filled with pressed velvet squares in every shade of taupe and beige and gold.

Michelle Lewis is a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program, and she has written reviews and essays for The Gettysburg Review and Poet Lore. Her poetry has appeared in several journals, most recently, Jet Fuel Review and Spoon River Poetry Review (forthcoming, Winter 2016). She is the author of two chapbooks, The Desire Line (Moon Pie Press, 2006) and the forthcoming Who Will Be Frenchy? (dancing girl press, Fall 2016).